Planet 51 (Blu-ray)
PLANET 51 has a unique premise of humans switching places with the aliens. The idea that humans are aliens invading a less advanced species, whose one fear is monsters like us taking over their world is a fun little twist. It’s a planet much like earth but with green people and they are living a lifestyle similar to earth’s 1950’s. They somehow even have the exact same songs as we did. The only real difference is that all the vehicles hover.
Out of nowhere an alien, or humanoid, ship lands from the sky. American astronaut, Captain Charles “Chuck” T. Baker (Dwayne Johnson without “the Rock” in between his name) believing he is alone, immediately emerges from the ship, prepared for a moon like atmosphere and sticks an American flag into the ground. After stepping on a dog’s squeaky toy, he looks around to see that he has landed in white picket fenced suburbia full of green people. With the help of a local, Lem (Justin Long) Chuck must navigate his way back to his ship to get home before General Grawl (Gary Oldman) and zombie predicting obsessive, Professor Kipple (John Cleese) catch him and distract his brain.
The voice actors all did a fair job but no one was necessarily exceptional. This is one of those cases where the studio is paying for a few famous names to put on their poster rather than finding great voice talent. Jessica Biel is barely used as Neera, a neighbor girl and love interest of Lem. Seann William Scott is probably working the hardest as Skiff, the high energy, dim-witted friend. Ironically, the best character is a silent WALL-E esque robotic dog name Rover working for NASA. Rover has his own little adventures with a fetish for rocks avoiding capturing any living specimen. Thus, ill preparing the humans for life on Planet 51.
PLANET 51 is a super cutesy, sweet animated film. But with today’s complex animated story lines, clever and fun for kids and adults alike, PLANET 51 comes off a little flat and boring. Containing a few funny scenes with a pretty neat premise, it’s definitely more for kids but I kind of think that it may not be able to even hold their attention fully.
Video: The 2.35:1 transfer looked real nice. The animation pops right off the screen.
Audio: The 5.1 DTS-HD track sounds clean with the soundtrack being really the only sound to showcase.
Target 51 Game: This is like the old Atari games but with less fluidity. You’re the ship, you move left to right and shoot other ships. The last round is a bit like Asteroids but again worse.
Extended Scenes (2:49): These are 3 scenes that added about 30 seconds each. They didn’t really make much of a difference. The first two are longer versions of Chuck in Lem’s bedroom and the third are the two doofy soldiers trying to be better zombies.
The World Of Planet 51 (2:54): Basically a virtual tour through the town and every location within the movie, really showing off the fantastic art direction.
Life On Planet 51 (12:04): This is the only feature worth anything. The first half showcases the voice actors talking about how they came up with the sound of their character and the difficulties of working by themselves. The second half showcases the writers and animators coming up with their ideas for the movie. Grabbing a small camcorder video taping themselves during certain movements so they might animate more authentically. It was quite funny. I would equate it to a garage band making it big.
Planetariu- The Voice Stars of Planet 51 (3:17): A typical fluff piece featurette with the actors talking about how great the movie is as clips from the film are shown.
Music Video Montage (2:11): This is lots of clips of the movie put to music. More like an extended preview set to music.
Animation Progression Reels (15:45): 6 animation progression scenes with 4 boxes of the same scene, each containing a different stage during the animation process. For the most part the scenes chosen were the best scenes in the film.